Keeping your data safe while travelling
Travelling with data can be risky these days. In public spaces, travellers’ devices are exposed to pick pockets, whilst their devices connected to public networks are prone to being snooped on by cyber attackers.
Below are a few helpful tips to keep your data safe while travelling abroad:
Consider Travel Specific Devices: For businesses and regularly travellers abroad, it may be worthwhile investing in some low-cost devices used exclusively for travel. As a result, data on the device can be kept to a minimum and easily formatted upon your return.
Encrypt your devices: All devices should have full disk encryption to protect the data stored. Therefore, if a device is stolen or lost, the data will not be accessible without the decryption key. Windows 10 Professional devices can be encrypted with BitLocker very simply. Always turn off your computer and don’t leave it in standby mode.
Save Data to the Cloud: Some countries boarder controls, may require you turn on and unlock your device. They may even be allowed to make copies of your data as a condition of entry. If this undesirable, then consider using cloud storage so the device data is kept to a minimum.
Encrypt all USBs: USB devices are lost or missed placed easily and regularly. Sensitive data lost abroad would still have to be reported to the ICO under the GDPR. This can easily be avoided by encrypting all USB drives. If the drive is lost, the data is irretrievable without the decryption key.
Lock the device away when you go out: Many hotel staff will have the ability to access your room. If the device is not securely locked away it is vulnerable to physical or data theft.
Don’t use someone else’s USB Cable: Always carry your own cables and have a portable charger nearby if you fear your devices will run out of battery. Juice jacking is a cyber attack that involves a charging port doubling up as a data connection. Therefore, publicly accessible chargers should not be trusted.
Use a VPN: Public Wi-Fi’s are unencrypted. As a result, your data may be sent in clear text for a hacker to intercept.A VPN creates a secure encrypted tunnel back to your home/office and thus shielding your data from prying eyes.
Purchase a portable hotspot: A portable hotspot can be purchased and used for your own private internet connection. If configured correctly, it can be very secure.
Avoid pairing your phone with a rented car: Although this may be a major inconvenience, you may end up leaving more data than you intended .
Change Passwords upon your return: Upon your return, it would be sensible to change your password for your critical accounts even if using a password manager.